The Viney Agency


David AndressDavid Andress is Professor of Modern History at the University of Portsmouth, where he has taught since 1994. Born and raised in south west London, he studied History at the University of York between 1987 and 1990, and returned there for a doctorate, awarded in 1995.

He is an internationally-recognised expert on the French Revolution, and especially on the politics and culture of Paris during the upheavals of the 1790s. After writing several books focused directly on French events in these years he diversified his publishing interests and in 2008 produced 1789, his first work of international history which explored that that fateful year, not just in France, but in Britain and its global empire and in the nascent American Republic.

This was followed by The Savage Storm telling the story of Britain’s military defeat of Napoleonic France and the social and political struggles of the era and the conflicting ideas that emerged from it. His acclaimed Cultural Dementia - How The West Has Lost its History, and Risks Losing Everything Else was published in 2018.

His The French Revolution - A Peasant's Revolt was published by Head of Zeus in 2020.

He lives in Hampshire with his wife and two children.

In this miraculously compressed, incisive book, David Andress argues that it was the peasantry of France who made and defended the Revolution of 1789. That the peasant revolution benefited far more people, in more far reaching ways, than the revolution of lawyerly elites and urban radicals that has dominated our view of the revolutionary period. History has paid more attention to Robespierre, Danton, and Bonaparte than it has to the millions of French peasants who were the first to rise up in 1789, and the most ardent in defending changes in land ownership and political rights. "Those furthest from the centre rarely get their fair share of the light," Andress writes, and the peasants were patronized, reviled, and often persecuted by urban elites for not following their lead. Andress's book reveals a rural world of conscious, hard-working people and their struggles to defend their ways of life and improve the lives of their children and communities.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: The French Revoltuion - a Peasant's Revolt (Head of Zeus, 2020); Cultural Dementia (Head of Zeus, 2018); The Savage Storm - Britain on the Brink in the Age of Napoleon (Little, Brown, UK, 2012); 1789: The Threshold of the Modern Age, (Little, Brown, UK, 2008; Farrar, Straus & Giroux, USA, 2009). The Terror: Civil War in the French Revolution, (Little, Brown, UK 2005. US edition, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2006; translation rights sold in China, Greece, Portugal, Spain). The French Revolution and the People, (Hambledon & London, UK, 2004). Massacre at the Champ de Mars: Popular Dissent and Political Culture in the French Revolution, (Boydell Press for the Royal Historical Society, UK, 2000). French Society in Revolution, 1789-1799, (Manchester University Press, UK, 1999).